An Indie Trader's Career Ladder

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by JT47319, Jul 19, 2003.

  1. JT47319


    Rung 1: The Indie Trader
    Rung 1a: (Stage 1) Survival
    Rung 1b: (Stage 2) Consistency
    Rung 1c: (Stage 3) Profitability

    Rung 2: Desk/Prop/Floor/Exchange Trader

    Rung 3: Money Manager / CTA / Hedge Fund Manager

    It would seem most indie traders who actually make it simply trade for themselves, making earned income and not going for the "big time."

    So at what stage are you and do you plan on advancing further? and what other "career advancements" do you see?

    What paths are there to follow once one has achieved profitability?
  2. You should add a Rung 4 - Indie Trader (Profitable)....
  3. JT47319


    Well, I think I was making Rung 1 (Stage 3) that. Unless you're implying that being a profitable Indie trader is the be all, end all.

    But there's gotta be something more to it than that. Some drive, some ambition that forces us to excel once we have achieved skill/career competence. To become a virtuoso and rise beyond the ranks of your average peers. Targets and goals beyond points.

    Things like recognition, power, fame, big titles, fast cars and even faster women :)

    Starting a business, becoming a floor trader, a cover story on Business Week, etc.

  4. I suppose it depends on the trader's own aspirations... personally I value financial freedom over the stresses of setting up and running my own hedge fund... trading for me was an escape from the corporate world, not a route back into it... I could do without the lifestyle negatives of being answerable to clients... trading on my account provides me with an unstructured yearly timetable (allowing me to do what I want when I want), something which running a hedge fund would constrain... I ain't into becoming obscenely rich at the expense of my lifestyle preferences.... I would prefer to maintain moderate wealth with a fulfillment of all my lifestyle preferences...

    Like I said, it depends on the individual's preferences... there is no generic "ladder of progression"...
  5. For me, Rung 2 would go alongside 1a and 1b i.e. when starting out, I feel that a newbie should learn using Other People's Money... there is absolutely no way I would personally place Rung 2 above Rung 1c... jeez, why should a consistently profitable trader go work in a sweatshop?! :confused:
  6. JT47319


    Well, I was including prop shop trading with desk trading and being a floor trader. Certainly it seems that an evolutionary path might be from a retail trader to one who, say, trades on the floor of the Merc w/ the big spoos.

    But like you said, it all depends on one's goals. But once you've achieved financial freedom, what else is there? There's gotta be a next step.

    Hmmm, another possible rung (1d?) would to become a guru.

  7. That next step for me is simply more of the same:

    Time for friends
    Time for family
    Time for hobbies
    Time to travel
    Time to enjoy life
    Freedom from corporate politics and from having to brown-nose your boss or from having to compromise with your business partner
    Freedom from the strains of being answerable to clients

    I ain't prepared to give the above up...
  8. JT47319


    Right, but that's not a career ladder, that's what you do on your own time. I think if 1C is the limit and end goal, then that's fine. But I don't think I'm the only one who wants to expand their horizons and tackle big and "better" things.

  9. I ain't ambitious enough to go any further with my trading (apart from simply increasing size, which kinda happens automatically, anyways)...

    Some people try to do their hedge fund thing and then regret it, as client pressures just end up being a pain for em (an example is Marty Schwartz in Market Wizards)... others try it, it clicks for em and they love it... and become obscenely wealthy (e.g. Steve Cohen)...

    But, personally, I don't like the responsibility of it all... daytrading in my underwear for very decent money and taking numerous vacations kinda has more appeal for me than the strains of running an organization in an attempt to make more cachingos than I would ever need...